In Committees this week, Portfolio Committee No. 6 recommends a bold new plan to fix ‘crisis’ in NSW’s music scene, supermarket price fixing is under the spotlight in the dairy industry inquiry, and plans for the new Powerhouse at Parramatta are revisited by Portfolio Committee No. 4.

As always, if you would like to find out more about any of our current or past inquiries, you can find further information on our website.

Committee recommends bold plan to fix ‘crisis’ in NSW’s music scene

Renewal and revitalisation were the focus of a report tabled by Portfolio Committee No. 6 – Planning and Environment on its inquiry into the music and arts economy in NSW on Thursday 15 November, in response to what the committee described as a ‘live music venue crisis’ affecting both Sydney and regional NSW.

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Artist KLP tweets about her involvement in the launch of the report

In launching the report, the committee was supported by a number of the artists who gave evidence during the inquiry, including Urthboy, KLP and Dave Faulkner from the Hoodoo Gurus. Evidence from a range of other artists and live music venues is reproduced in the report.

The report comprised of 60 recommendations and four findings aimed at a wholistic solution to revitalise the NSW contemporary and live music scene. Key recommendations included the appointment of a minister with oversight of music and the night time economy; a significant injection of at least $35 million in funding for contemporary music over the next four years; a call for the Department of Premier and Cabinet to drive the future work of the night-time economy taskforce; simplification of planning, liquor licensing and noise provisions, including the introduction of a hybrid planning model that incorporates Victoria’s successful ‘agent of change’ approach, along with the planned precinct model adopted in Brisbane, and Wollongong’s initiatives to put entertainment precincts on section 149 certificates; the removal of outdated licensing conditions; and mechanisms to support and work collaboratively with commercial and community radio and streaming services.

In keeping with a new procedure adopted for a number reports on inquiries tabled in the leadup to the 2019 election, the House agreed to reduce the timeframe for the government’s response to the report from 6 months to 28 February to ensure that the response is received prior to the government resolving into the caretaker period. The response will be published on the committee’s website.

Dairy industry under the spotlight

Portfolio Committee No. 5 – Industry and Transport has held a further two hearings for its inquiry into the sustainability of the dairy industry in New South Wales.

On Friday 16 November the committee took evidence from the NSW Government, the ACCC, NSW Farmers Association and Norco. The committee then travelled to Taree on Monday 19 November to hear from local farmers in the region about the role processors and dairy industry collective bargaining groups play in the supply chain and how that is impacting on dairy farm businesses. (The transcript will be available later this week.)

A further hearing is scheduled for Monday 26 November to hear from retailers and processes.

Museum’s experts set out plans for new Powerhouse at Parramatta

Portfolio Committee No.4 had another hearing on Friday 16 November to hear from witnesses from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, in relation to the proposed relocation of the powerhouse museum from Ultimo to Parramatta. One of the issues discussed related to the future design of the museum at Parramatta, and whether the site will include a residential complex. (The transcript will be available later this week.) A further hearing will take place in February 2019, with the committee expected to table their report by the end of February, before the state election.

And stay tuned for more news through December and the new year…

While the House is anticipated to conclude its sitting program this week, committees will remain active over the next few months so keep an eye out for our regular updates over the next few months. Further hearings and reports are expected for inquiries into museums and galleries (including the Powerhouse relocation); electricity supply, demand and prices; the Westconnex project; the CBD light rail project; Parklea Correctional Centre; Gay and Transgender hate crimes; the Fire and Emergency Services Levy; price fixing in the dairy industry and a number others.

We’ll also be posting our ‘year in review’ publication, looking back on the numerous inquiries undertaken by members in the leadup to the 2019 election. If you haven’t already subscribed to the House in Review, you do so in one click using the button on the right of this page to stay up to date with all of our news over summer.